Last week we looked at ‘What is self?’
We said that self is ‘the natural human nature inherited at birth’ Various versions of the bible call it by different names including ‘sinful nature’, ‘human nature’, ‘selfish motives’ and ‘Mr Flesh’, to mention a few. We concluded that self is just being human. When you behave like a normal human does, you are not behaving as a Christian or disciple of Christ.
Before we go on, we want to give some examples of Mr Flesh that will help drive home the point.
Let us look at Galatians.5:19-21 again (GNB version)
19) What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions;
20) in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups;
21) they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God.
First, it is important to know that what the human or sinful nature does is plain, clear or evident and easily recognisable. If you indulge in sexual immorality such as fornication, adultery, masturbation etc., and you go for deliverance or pray against such is like cutting off the fruits of a tree. In due season it will come up again. When the opportunity presents itself it will result in fornication. The best thing to do is root out the tree. God will forgive the sin if you confess and forsake (1 John 1:9), but better to deal with the cause, which is Mr Flesh.
Same thing too with impure thoughts or idolatry (worship of idols). Idols in the heart are more dangerous than idols in the temple, people bow to. Idols can become strongholds (2 Corinthians 1:.5). Anything that takes up your quality time and attention, and is difficult to do away with for the Lord Jesus, is an idol. Some examples of idols are money (Luke.18.18-24), mode of dressing, jewels, shoes, Netflix, Sports, MOTD, Social media (all forms), Internet, culture or tradition just to mention a few.
What Paul says in Philippians chapter three makes sense now? See what says Paul in Philippians .3:7-8
7) I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
8) Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.
Witchcraft also is a sign of Mr Flesh. Every form of psychics, occultism or ‘juju’ is witchcraft. It is a form of intimidation in order to gain control over a person or make them submit by force. Many practice witchcraft daily when they intimidate, oppress, manipulate, threaten or take advantage of others because of position or knowledge of a secret. We see this in meetings, offices, homes and everywhere human beings are. Such people who display acts of Mr Flesh will not inherit God’s kingdom.
Do you have an enemy? (I don’t mean the devil!)
I mean some person you have vowed not to see or talk to. That’s Mr Flesh manifesting. Whether its business partners becoming enemies, ministers in church or singers in the Choir quarreling.
Anywhere we see people fighting, though they have their cogent, reasonable, legitimate and acceptable reasons, we know who is behind the fighting. It is Mr. Flesh. He is also behind jealousy and anger. The scripture teaches us also that Mr Flesh, sinful nature, human nature is also behind the constant effort to become better or get the best for yourself. This is also ungodly ambition or self-effort. May the Lord deliver us from self and selfishness!
People who separate into parties or groups or feel that their little group is better or more important than the rest is silently manifesting the flesh. It is the quiet reason churches break into factions and go their own different ways. This is the source of every split- church, family, business etc. When you feel your race is better or tribe is better, it’s also the sinful nature manifesting ‘himself’.